It has been said many times that young children are very impressionable, and learn best while they are young, but what does that mean when it comes to elementary education? As parents we always want the very best for our children, but what is the best when we are considering elementary education for our offspring? This can be a very difficult decision to make, but don’t worry, it’s only one of many, many decisions you’ll have to make as parents!
Elementary education is no doubt of extreme importance, as everything a child learns in these early days is built on as they get older. It is therefore of great importance to choose the best way for your child to get this education. Many parents nowadays feel that they can offer a better education at the elementary level at home rather than use the public education system, but is it really the best way to go? Helene Goldnadel provides a look further here.
Elementary school teachers are trained to teach elementary children, and the training is detailed and thorough. However, not all of these teachers are able to teach the whole range of subjects, for example they may not be musically inclined. But are you? Have you been trained in how to teach, and do you know what to teach? Can you teach all subjects? Is your math good enough? What about your art training? Now the actual teachers your child is assigned at school must play a big part in your decision, so it is necessary to meet with the principal, the teachers, and if at all possible, visit the classrooms while the teachers are teaching. This is not always possible, and it can be very disruptive having strangers in the classroom, but not that many parents actually visit the school during class. You need to see what your gut reaction is to the teachers. Are they people you feel comfortable with, are they easy to talk to? There are lots of questions you will want to ask I am sure. Is the teacher going to be teaching all subjects? Are they qualified to teach the specialist subjects like music and art? Do they encourage parents into the classroom? Do they have field trips? And the questions go on.
You then have to consider being the teacher at home, and there is a great deal to be said for home schooling. Certainly the ratio of teacher to child is fantastic. One on one is definitely better than 1 on 20. A home schooling parent can provide a quality education, especially in the early years, when the curriculum is not too specialized. But what concerns me most isn’t the education of the main subjects that home schoolers receive as much as the education in socializing that may not occur. When children are taught at home, they do not necessarily learn how to cooperate with others their age. They might not learn how to cooperate with a large group of children. They may never get the opportunity to be part of a large group activity, like the whole school producing a Christmas show. They may never get to meet with others of different upbringing, and while tolerance of others can be taught at home, it is perhaps somewhat easier in a school environment.
There is a lot more that will go into your decision about home schooling an elementary child. Elementary education is extremely important, and it deserves a thorough review by all parents, not just those considering home schooling for their child.
Also read: Parental Involvement in a Child’s Education